Learning from the Maestro

Don Julian Gonzalez

In 2000, four members of Los Cenzontles began occasional visits to Don Julian’s small apartment in Belmont, CA to begin their studies. Eugene Rodriguez on vihuela, Tregar Otton on violin, Hugo Arroyo on guitarron, and Lucina Rodriguez, dancing. Julian presented the group a tiny handwritten piece of paper with the names of the sones abajeños that he could teach. This would be their guide list for the future creation of four albums.

El Chivo

One of our most popular mariachi sones

In this 2007 video, Los Cenzontles perform El Chivo at El Campanil Theater in Antioch, CA with Don Julian. A recorded version is on the CD El Chivo, Traditional Mariachi Volume 3. We also performed the son on the 2010 album San Patricio by The Chieftains, feat. Ry Cooder. Buy Transcription Here!
El Pitayero

Among first sones abajeños that Los Cenzontles learned

Here, Los Cenzontles Juvenil perform the El Pitayero in the style of the traditional mariachi of Jalisco. Buy Transcription Here!
El Torero

A son abajeño from the repertory of the mariachi

El Torero is a popular mariachi that incorporates a unique dance that mimics the motions of the bull fighter. The son appears in our Pasajero, a Journey of Time and Memory documentary and accompanying CD. Buy Transcription Here!